Prescription Drug Benefit

When you enroll in medical coverage, you and your covered family members also receive prescription drug benefits. Your out-of-pocket costs depend on your employment status and which medical plan you choose. All JHU prescription plans offer a convenient, money-saving mail-order pharmacy feature.

CareFirst Prescription Drug Coverage (through Capital Rx)

If you’re enrolled in a CareFirst medical plan, your prescription drugs and prescription drug claims are managed by Capital Rx.

Wondering if one of your medications is covered by Capital Rx? Find out if your prescriptions are on the formulary—i.e., Capital Rx’s list of approved drugs—and search for approved pharmacies.

You can also review Capital Rx’s:

Looking for on-demand access to your personal prescription information? Access the Capital Rx member app, or follow these step-by-step instructions to create an account.

Mail-Order Prescriptions

Get convenient and cost-effective access to prescription drugs through mail-order delivery. Learn more about how to set up home delivery, request refills of current prescriptions, and more through Optum Home Delivery on the Capital Rx website.

Specialty Medications

Specialty prescriptions are managed by Optum Specialty Pharmacy. Learn more about how to set up, refill, and track your specialty drug prescriptions.

If you prefer that Johns Hopkins Community Pharmacies manage your specialty medication rather than Optum Specialty Pharmacy, call 410-288-6000.

Kaiser Permanente Prescription Drug Coverage

Prescription drugs and prescription drug claims for employees and their family members enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente HMO Plan are managed by Kaiser Permanente.

Prescription Drug Use Policy

The University wants to help you use your prescription drug benefits wisely. The following programs will help you get the best medication at the right price:

  • Mandatory generics – Generic drugs are lower-cost medications that are just as effective as brand-name drugs. You may pay more if you purchase a brand medicine when a generic-equivalent drug is available. You will pay the generic copay plus the difference in cost between the brand and generic drug.
  • Prior authorization – Some medications will require prior authorization, or review and approval, before the plan will cover the cost. This is to ensure that the medication you receive is safe and effective for your situation. Prior authorization may be required for drugs that:
  • Have potentially dangerous side effects
  • Are harmful when combined with other drugs
  • Are often misused
  • Are prescribed when less expensive drugs are as effective
  • Are specialty medications that are meant to treat very specific diseases and require appropriate clinical markers (biological characteristics that help assess whether a drug will be effective in a specific patient)
  • Step therapy – Step therapy requires you to try lower-cost (often generic) medications first, before “stepping up” to medications that cost more. If your medication requires step therapy, you will be obligated to try a step-one medication before stepping up to a step-two (or step-three) medication. Step-one alternative medications are proven to be safe, effective, and affordable, and can provide the same health benefits as more expensive medications, at a lower cost to you.
  • Quantity limitations – To reduce waste and ensure that the most cost-effective product strength is prescribed, all medications will be subject to quantity limitations (as determined by the FDA). If your treatment exceeds the quantity limitation of your drug, your prescription will require further authorization.

If your medication needs approval, either you or your pharmacist will need to let your doctor know. Your doctor might switch your therapy to another drug that does not require prior authorization, step therapy, or quantity limitations, by calling Capital Rx or Kaiser Permanente to start the approval process.

COVID-19 Test Kits
Due to the end of the public health emergency, COVID-19 testing, including over-the-counter tests, will no longer be covered at 100% by JHU’s medical plans.
To view your prescription drug coverage, including out-of-pocket copays for 30- or 90-day retail or mail-order supplies, view the medical comparison charts for faculty and staff or LiUNA bargaining unit members.